Economic Development

Ryan: ‘Every Place in the Valley Is an Option’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Lordstown site where TJX Companies Inc. has proposed siting a 1.2-million-square-foot distribution center is no longer among the options the company is considering, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said this afternoon.

During a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Ryan, D-13 Ohio, confirmed that several sites in the Mahoning Valley are being looked at, including other locations in Lordstown.

“Nothing is certain yet. Their people are still out looking at sites as we speak,” Ryan said.

TJX officials announced Friday that it was withdrawing its application to rezone several properties at its preferred site in Lordstown. The site faced opposition from a small group of village residents concerned about residential encroachment.

Ryan said he has had multiple conversations with TJX officials since Friday, including today.

“Every place in the Valley is an option,” Ryan said this afternoon. Asked specifically whether TJX had taken the original 290-acre site in the village it had identified out of consideration, the congressman responded, “I believe so. No one has told me otherwise since they withdrew their application.”

Earlier in the day, an official with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber confirmed the Mahoning Valley still has “a seat at the table” as TJX considers its options, even as the company is giving a site in neighboring Mercer County, Pa., a second look.

Among the options TJX may be considering for the distribution center, which would service its HomeGoods brand, include the 23 sites the Regional Chamber originally submitted to the company, said Sarah Boyarko, the chamber’s senior vice president for economic development.

Boyarko said she has had “multiple conversations” with TJX officials following the company’s announcement Friday that it was withdrawing its application to rezone several properties at its preferred site in Lordstown.

“We do still have a seat at the table and they are re-evaluating all property options,” Boyarko said.

The company is “definitely open” to other local sites, she added. Any of the 23 sites located throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties that the chamber submitted to JobsOhio in response to the initial inquiry “might be under consideration,” she said.

That isn’t keeping other parties interested in landing the distribution center – along with its estimated 1,000 jobs and projected payroll of up to $30 million – from renewing their interest.

Penn-Northwest Development Corp., which worked with a site selector in 2016, at the end of March invited TJX to take another look at its proposed site in East Lackawannock Township, following meetings in Lordstown where several residents voiced concerns. TJX officials visited the site again April 6.

“We’re not quite sure where we stand at this point,” Randy Seitz, Penn Northwest’s executive director, said. “We certainly hope we’re one of those other options.”

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.